Labor Department Settles Wage Theft Allegations with Missouri Buffet Restaurant

Labor Department Settles Wage Theft Allegations with Missouri Buffet Restaurant

BLUE SPRINGS, MO — The United States Department of Labor recently announced that it resolved a wage theft lawsuit with a Blue Springs, Missouri buffet restaurant and that the defendant will compensate all the affected workers by paying due wages and applicable damages. An investigation by the labor Department discovered the business and its owner failed to comply with FLSA minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping provisions.

A total of 17 current and former workers will receive their share of $150,000, which includes back pay and overtime with interest, as we well as an equal amount of liquidated damages to further compensate them. The defendant, Legend of Asia and its manager, will also pay a civil fine of $10,000 for its part in the wage theft.

According to the unpaid overtime lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the defendant paid cooks a monthly salary and provided them housing, meals, and transportation. However, the restaurant did not properly compensate workers for all their time on the job and the average hourly wage fell below the federal minimum wage and no overtime hours were paid for.

According to a statement released on the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division website, the defendant will take several steps to ensure future wage theft does not occur. This includes implementing a computerized time-keeping system, having a third party audit time and payroll practices for compliance, provide payroll statements to employees that clearly articulate the amount earned, as well as deductions for items provided such as housing and food, and provide training and notices to all employees regarding the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Companies that fail to pay their workers in accordance with the law gain an unfair advantage over their competitors,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Karen Chaikin, in Chicago. “Through its education and outreach efforts, the Department continues to ensure that employers and employees understand their responsibilities and rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.”

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